In the Studio with Anna-Maria Potamiti

Anna-Maria Potamiti is a Greek artist currently living and working in the Scottish Borders. You can see her work as part of Souvenirs of a Sealocked Summer here.
Image courtesy @moonray_designs

Can you tell us about where you work? What can you see from your window? What makes you feel comfortable in your space?

My workspace has changed many times over the years as we moved overseas and back again. As a result, I had to learn to be flexible, not too fussy, and just keep working no matter whether what was available was a kitchen table, a car, or a large room all to myself. These days I work mostly from a large desk in front of a window with a view to a spectacular river valley. Frequently, there are hares, pheasants, groups of cyclists and riders on horseback that make me run for my sketchbook, all in all a continuous source of joy and inspiration to be found through this window!

What has been the most challenging piece of work you’ve made? 

The work I am working on at the moment is always the most challenging and scary! There is invariably a short time of panic and self-doubt as I am starting a painting, but as the marks get down, and the colours begin layering, the tension becomes curiosity, excitement, and then pleasure. The cycle repeats over and over until the painting is finished.

Can you tell us about the work you were making during lockdown? Did it change your practice?

We live in a very small village in the Scottish Borders, so during lockdown I would seek subject matter while on long walks with my dog. I had to learn to draw faster, rely more on my memory, and then translate these sketches to watercolours back home. I realised that working this way was finally more interesting than working directly in front of a model or still life as I was used to doing to a large extent. It forced me to reconsider my approach to space, humour, and storytelling in my practice. I had to reevaluate what was important and meaningful. I realised that the landscape was empty for me unless there was a figure moving within it, animal or human. That realisation changed the way I view my work fundamentally, and gave me clear direction.

If you were to pick one item for your home from the Souvenirs of a Sealocked Summer Collection, which would it be?

I love everything in your exhibition so it would be hard to choose what to bring home. However, since art that plays makes me happy, I would be delighted to be daily greeted by one of the ex-votos from Bottega del Si. I love the humour, the connection to traditional arts and crafts, the gentleness of spirit, and of course the strong decorative qualities of these pieces. And to paint these beauties on found and stretched tins, what absolutely marvellous inventiveness! Yes, I would be "hello beautiful you" every day!!

You can find Anna-Maria on Instagram @annamariapotamiti

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